Airlines Cancel Hundreds of Flights for Second Time in a Week Over Winter Storms

by Victoria Santiago

For the second time in a week, many airlines have canceled hundreds of flights ahead of a major winter storm. Forecasts show that the storm is supposed to impact Texas all the way to New England. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), freezing rain is supposed to accumulate throughout Texas and the Ohio River Valley. In addition to that, heavy snow is expected to happen throughout the Midwest.

More than 1,700 U.S. flights were canceled on Wednesday. In addition to that, more than 1,800 flights were canceled that were scheduled for Thursday. Southwest Airlines canceled more than 400 of their Wednesday flights. Overall, this made up 12% of the airline’s flight schedule for today. Southwest also canceled 520 flights for Thursday, which made up 15% of their scheduled flights. The airline suspended flights from its home airport of Dallas Love Field. At the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, a quarter of all flights scheduled for Thursday were canceled.

Other airlines were quick to cancel a lot of their flights, too. For example, American Airlines canceled more than 370 of their scheduled flights for Wednesday. Many airlines have said that they would waive fare differences for people who want to rebook their flight due to the winter storm. According to CNBC, those airlines include Southwest, American, Delta, and United.

Thousands of Flights Canceled Last Week Ahead of Winter Storm

Due to another winter storm that hit the Northeast, major airlines canceled another 4,000 flights over the weekend. There were at least 1,600 flight cancelations on Sunday alone. Over 3,000 flights were canceled for Saturday. The airports that had the most cancelations were LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International, Boston Logan International, and Newark Liberty International. These cancelations took place as blizzard conditions were battering most of the Northeast. Some places got two feet of snow or more.

Cancelations Are Frustrating, But They’re the Best Option During Bad Weather

Typically, airlines will cancel flights ahead of winter storms instead of waiting to see how bad the weather actually is. There’s a method behind the madness, though. If they cancel flights ahead of bad weather, they will avoid having crews and passengers stuck at other airports. When this happens, it can be absolute mayhem, as we saw at the end of last year. So, by canceling flights ahead of time, it makes it easier for everyone involved (we know it doesn’t feel that way, though).

If winter weather is coming your way, or even just bad weather in general, many airlines will post tips on what to do if your flight gets canceled. Most importantly, stay calm. Know that eventually, you’ll be able to rebook your flight. In most cases, like right now, airlines will even give you credits or refund the difference for new tickets.